New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortion After Rape/Incest
Under a proposed law in the New Mexico state House of Representative, a woman who has an abortion after being raped could face felony criminal charges.
New Mexico House Bill 206, proposed by state Representative Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad), would classify terminating a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest as tampering with evidence. The text of the proposed bill [PDF] reads "Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime." This could mean that rape or incest victims who seek to terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape could face felony charges and up to three years in prison.
Representative Brown insists that the bill was designed to protect women from being forced to have an abortion by their attacker. She told the Albuquerque Journal "I thought I had a pretty good little bill that was going to accomplish a lot of good, and it's being misconstrued." She claims in the Carlsbad Current-Argus, the local newspaper for her district, that the bill was poorly drafted by a member of her staff and when reviewing it she didn't catch the possible interpretation that she is facing criticism for now. "I missed this one," she said.
Javier Gonzalez, the Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, told the Albuquerque Journal "This bill is wrong and should never see the light of day in any legislature in this country, let alone New Mexico. ... The war on women in America has to stop. No woman should ever be forced to carry a child for 'evidence,' plain and simple."
Representative Brown plans on introducing new legislation that will clarify that the attacker would be punished under the law, not the victim, however she has yet to respond further to the media.
Media Resources: Albuquerque News 1/25/2013; Business Insider 1/25/2013; Carlsbad Current-Argus 1/24/2013; USA Today 1/24/2013; New Mexico House Bill 206
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .